But the positive far outweigh that criticism and the writing is beautiful and you find yourself sitting reading it with a notepad on the lap taking down page references to remember passages afterwards.
One of the ones that will stick in my mind describes a father and his son heading to the station so the young man can head away from the village to the city and to college:
"My father, said Georg, took the bicycle to the station so that he wouldn't have to walk so close to me on the way there, and so that, on the way back , his empty hands wouldn't remind him he was returning home alone."
The world Muller describes is a horrible one of oppression with then main four characters living in a nightmare where only their thoughts are safe from the state. Living under a dictatorship every sign of non-cooperation brings persecution and some even take the suicide option rather than go on living with the pressure to lie to yourself everyday.
"...other people manage to to clap along with everyone else and make money."
You fear for the narrator and her three friends as the second half of the book unfolds.
A review will be posted soon...